Our Board & Staff
Terry Spahr, Founder & Executive Director
Environmentalist and activist Terry Spahr left the corporate world to research, write and produce 8 Billion Angels, a documentary feature which exposes overpopulation as the upstream cause of all our environmental emergencies. The film details the inextricable links between population and our ever-increasing food, water, climate, pollution and extinction emergencies. A graduate of the University of Pennsylvania College of Arts & Sciences and Fels Center of Government, Terry lectures on issues of sustainability to students, investor groups, and civic organizations. He is a regular opinion writer for a variety of environmental publications.
Maureen Harrington, Board Member
Maureen Cohen Harrington is an attorney with experience in the government, nonprofit, private sectors. As Special Projects Manager for Having Kids, she organized and moderated a 2019 forum at George Washington University, “Tackling the Population Taboo: Creating a Sustainable Future for Children”. She also organized and moderated the first-ever panel about human population at the 2017 Animal Rights National Conference, “Human Overpopulation: Why Animal Advocates Should Care”. She received her law degree from Georgetown University Law Center, and undergraduate degrees in philosophy and in radio-television-film from the University of Maryland. She is vice president of the Congressional Vegetarian Staff Association, a member of the Committee of 100 on the Federal City, and on the board of Washington Area Roadskaters. In her day job, she is Senior Counsel at the Library of Congress Office of the General Counsel. She shares her home with two feline Louisiana flood refuges.
Peter Cooke, Board Member
Peter Cooke is a successful entrepreneur and the co-owner of Cooke and Berlinger, a boutique jewelry salon that features unique pieces from the best designers and craftsmen from around the world. An active participant in Philadelphia area philanthropy, he has served on the Boards of Greener Partners, Woodmere Art Museum, and the Philadelphia Charity Ball, where he was also Past President. Peter is on the Advisory Boards of the Benjamin Parkway Council, the Academy of Music, the PA Special Olympics and the Pennsylvania Hospital.
Sara Perine, Communications Director
Sara Perine has two decades of public relations experience in the nonprofit and for-profit worlds, including the American Institute for Cancer Research, Boiron International and HarperCollins Publishers. Throughout her career, Sara has helped organizations refine messaging and engage in strategic communications to reach broader audiences. She has conducted successful public outreach campaigns on the subjects of child literacy, complementary medicine, and the link between nutrition and cancer. Sara is a graduate of the University of Virginia and the University of Denver.
Our Advisory Board
John Davis is the editor of Rewilding Earth and the Executive Director of the Rewilding Institute, whose mission is to develop and promote the ideas and strategies to advance continental-scale conservation in North America and beyond. John is the former editor of the journal, Wild Earth, and has worked previously for the Foundation for Deep Ecology, overseeing their Biodiversity and Wildness grants program, and the Adirondack Council, where he served as Conservation Director. John serves on the boards of RESTORE: The North Woods; Eddy Foundation; Champlain Area Trails; Cougar Rewilding Foundation; and Algonquin to Adirondack Conservation Collaborative. He is the author of the book, Big, Wild, and Connected: Scouting an Eastern Wildway from Florida to Quebec, published by Island Press.
Alisha Graves is President of Venture Strategies for Health and Development (VSHD), a California-based nonprofit organization, and a Founder of the OASIS Initiative (Organizing to Advance Solutions in the Sahel), a project of the University of California, Berkeley. She lectures internationally on population and food security in the Sahel. Alisha is passionate about stabilizing global population this century by upholding girls and women's rights to education, family planning and safe abortion. She is a research fellow for Project Drawdown, analyzing the potential contribution of family planning for reducing greenhouse gas emissions. She completed her MPH in International Maternal and Child Health at UC Berkeley in 2006.
Rob Harding is a planetary health activist who cares deeply about protecting life on Earth, and doing so in a loving and intentional manner. His superpower is serving as a connector to help accelerate the pace of progress. A graduate of Santa Clara University, Rob is committed to creating a more just and sustainable world with competence, conscience, and compassion. To that end, Rob serves on the board of The Rewilding Institute and Save The Colorado, as a trustee of the WILD Foundation, and as a chapter director for the Center for the Advancement of the Steady State Economy.
William N. Ryerson
William (Bill) N. Ryerson is Founder and President of Population Media Center (PMC) (www.populationmedia.org), an organization that strives to improve the health and well-being of people around the world through the use of entertainment-education strategies. He also serves as Chair of The Population Institute in Washington, DC (www.populationinstitute.org), which works in partnership with Population Media Center. PMC creates long-running serialized dramas on radio and television, in which characters evolve into role models for the audience resulting in positive behavior change. Bill has a 48-year history of working in the field of reproductive health, including three decades of experience adapting the Sabido methodology of social change communications to various cultural settings worldwide. Ryerson received a B.A. in Biology (Magna Cum Laude) from Amherst College and an M.Phil. in Biology from Yale University (with specialization in Ecology and Evolution). He served as Director of the Population Institute's Youth and Student Division, Development Director of Planned Parenthood Southeastern Pennsylvania, Associate Director of Planned Parenthood of Northern New England and Executive Vice President of Population Communications International before founding Population Media Center in 1998.
Dr. Karen Shragg
Dr. Karen Shragg is a lifelong environmentalist, naturalist, educator, poet, author and overpopulation activist. Karen is a member of the World Population Balance Advisory Board and has lectured around the world about the overpopulation crisis. She is the former director of the City of Richfield’s Wood Lake Nature Center and a former public and private school teacher with two education degrees from the University of Minnesota and a doctorate from the University of St. Thomas. A prolific author, she is most well known for her "Nature’s Yucky" children’s book series. Her books for adults include Move Upstream, A Call to Solve Overpopulation, published by Freethought House Press.
Zoe Weil is the co-founder and president of the Institute for Humane Education (IHE) and is considered a pioneer in the comprehensive humane education movement that works to create a peaceful, healthy, and just world for all people, animals, and the environment through education. Zoe is the author of seven books including The World Becomes What We Teach: Educating a Generation of Solutionaries, and Nautilus Silver Medal winner, Most Good, Least Harm: A Simple Principle for a Better World and Meaningful Life. Zoe received a Master’s in Theological Studies from Harvard Divinity School and a Master’s and Bachelor’s in English Literature from the University of Pennsylvania.
N. Kate Cho, MHS, is an international public health specialist with over 15 years working on family planning and reproductive health issues in low-income countries. She currently serves as an Investigator and Contact Tracer in Washington, DC. Previously, she was Senior Program Officer for Advocacy and Accountability at The Challenge Initiative, an urban family planning program housed at the Bill & Melinda Gates Institute for Reproductive Health at Johns Hopkins University.
Her interest in population issues began with the popular undergraduate course "Global Problems of Population Growth" at Yale University. Better known by its alternative title "Monkey Sex," what was simply a fun class to take with friends auspiciously changed the trajectory of her life. After graduation, she began her career working for a small NGO that produced radio soap operas in Ethiopia and Mali about the negative impact of high fertility and rapid population growth on health, economic growth, social cohesion, and the environment. Since then, she has worked in or supported family planning programs in 13 countries to reduce undesired pregnancies and meet the growing demand for contraception.
She received her Masters in Health Science from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, focusing on demography and health communications. She has also worked on several presidential campaigns in the U.S. and sits on the Program Advisory Board for Population Media Center.